Kedi (2016) Movie Script

In Istanbul,
the cat is more than just a cat.
The cat embodies
the indescribable chaos,
the culture, and the uniqueness
that is the essence of Istanbul.
Without the cat,
Istanbul would lose a part of its soul
And theres nothing
like it anywhere else on earth.
Shes a real hunter now.
She wasnt like that before.
She changed after giving birth.
Before that, all she did was sleep.
Chilling here all day.
Sometimes I talk to her.
And she actually talks back.
Shes a solid character.
Shell stubbornly stand there.
Youll tell her to leave.
She won't, shell just stare.
"Im not leaving," shell say,
"where are you kicking me out to?"
"Ill be back anyway."
"What are you trying to do, wise guy?"
Shes really, you know, strong-willed.
Shes got personality.
Some cats really have character,
you can tell from their faces.
I think its wrong
to trap them in a house...
just so we can pet them.
There are millions of them out
there, we pet them all we want.
What matters is being on
the same frequency as them.
To communicate with them.
Besides, they can tell...
who likes them and who doesnt.
They notice.
And they give off good energy.
They absorb all your negative energy.
Were lucky. They do me good.
Its that time again.
Time to cruise. She comes and goes.
She came around one day.
I knew she'd been pregnant.
It was obvious she had given birth.
She led me to the back,
to show me her kittens.
Its so fascinating...
theyre just like people.
The love of animals
is a different kind of love.
People who dont love animals
cant love people either.
I know that much.
Come. Come, girl.
She was one of four kittens.
She was the scrawniest one. And the ugliest.
The other three left, she stayed.
Sometimes she makes me angry.
But why? Ive never thought about it.
I guess I must be in a bad mood.
But I never hit her or anything.
I tell her to leave but she never does.
She walks to the door and comes back.
Beng has been with us eight or nine years.
She came here as a kitten and never left.
Beng loves to be loved. Honestly.
She loves it when
you pet her she nearly passes out.
Its not the kind of
sappiness from old Turkish movies...
but I do look for her.
If I dont see her, or hear her voice
if shes not around
when I get here in the morning
I get worried and look for her.
Maybe she is like a child.
People miss their kids, right? I miss her.
Beng is very delicate.
If you pet another cat,
shell get jealous and sulk.
Shes very sensitive, Beng.
Thats it, thats the spot.
Thats the spot.
Shes done for. And then here.
And here.
Look at her delight.
You really know how to live.
Beng has given birth
but I havent seen where.
Try attacking her kittens
and youll see another side of her.
Ive heard they'd always
keep a cat on board a ship.
To absorb your excess energy.
I know soil does the same thing.
Prayer beads do the trick for me.
This cat is good for me too.
Besides, weve gotten used to her.
Shes become one of us.
Coming and going unconditionally.
And endless conversations too.
They cant just fly away like birds.
Its our responsibility
to take care of them as best as we can.
It is said that
cats are aware of Gods existence
but that dogs are not.
Dogs think people are God, but cats dont.
Cats know that people act
as middlemen to Gods will.
Theyre not ungrateful, they just know better.
Petting a cat gives me
a peculiar sense of security.
Even though
we dont speak each others language...
we immediately form a shared language.
I imagine having a relationship with cats
must be a lot like
being friends with aliens.
You make contact
with a very different life form
open a line
of communication with one another...
and start a dialogue.
And theyre
very foreign to us, very different.
Whether physically, mentally, or in capacity
theyre very different.
Yet, were able to have
a relationship with them.
Of course
I cant take the place of their mother
but I do what I can.
I wonder if I should feed them again.
Alright, alright, Im gonna feed you.
When theyre full, they dont make a peep.
Theyre really hungry.
Someone dumped them over by the shops.
Then they brought them over here.
Relying on me being here.
I had an incident with a cat,
itll shock you if I tell you.
About fifteen years ago
my boat was docked
over there, it sank in a storm.
I had barely managed to pay for it.
Sold whatever I had.
But got the boat.
I barely had it a week and the boat sinks.
Then, Im walking over by the rocks there
its extraordinary
what Im about to tell you.
Im walking along, I see this
cat, pointing me to a wallet.
A cat the same color as this one no lie.
Exactly that color.
Meow, meow!
I thought, whats up with this cat?
Does it have rabies or something?
I was a bit scared.
So I went to have some tea.
But something kept
bothering me to get the wallet.
Even the tea guy asked if I was OK.
I said, I dont know,
something strange is going on.
I got up, took a look inside the wallet
I swear, I needed 120 lira
and there was 120 lira inside that wallet.
Whoever doesnt believe this
story is a heathen in my books.
Can you imagine? God Almighty.
What is that if not a godsend?
Thats how my love for animals began.
After I found that wallet,
I started caring for cats.
But taking care of cats isn't easy.
I have to give them milk,
if Im gonna keep them alive.
These guys are quite big, they should survive.
But neglect them for
a couple of days, theyd surely die.
They survived in that box
because its warm in there.
And that chubby one
came along and became a mother to them.
He keeps them warm.
I guess they think hes their mother too.
Both a father and a mother.
Hes both a father and a mother to them.
- You have two children at home, right?
- Yes, I have two.
So you know what its like to be a parent.
Oh, its tough.
Whether we like it or not,
there are rats that live here by the sea.
And because were people,
we dont give them space to live.
But admittedly, they are a pest...
and its not good for them
to be around where people eat.
We considered rat poison,
weve used that in the past.
But just when we decided
to let the rats die on their own
this little lion of a cat showed up.
He takes care of them at
night, as nature dictates.
We didn't tell him to hunt the rats,
he took it upon himself.
To tell you the truth, he earns his keep.
You know the saying,
"do justice to ones love"?
Thats what he does.
He does justice to the love he gets.
Were grateful to him.
Life is beautiful.
If you know how to live.
You can love if your heart is open.
Everything is beautiful
when you look at it with love.
If you can enjoy
the presence of a cat, a bird, a flower
what can I say,
all the world will be yours.
She is the toughest of all the females.
Trouble for all the fishermen.
A fish thief.
Arch enemy of the dogs.
Shell chase any of them, even pit bulls.
She's the neighborhood psychopath.
She doesnt like soft love.
She likes tough love.
Shell start from the top of the church
and patrol the whole place.
Shes a very interesting animal.
The only thing shell steal is fish.
Shell stand in front
of the fish vendors over there
refusing to leave
even if they shoo her away.
She wont take anchovies
or mackerel either, she prefers bluefish.
Then shell make
the fishermen chase her all the way here.
She likes to live a life of luxury.
She even makes her husband respect her.
She chases him off.
Shes leaving so he can eat.
Now, Osman Pasha gets his turn.
She doesnt want to
lose him to anyone else either.
Girls prettier than Psycho
have come around, right?
Theres an instinctive jealousy.
Shes like a vicious housewife.
A jealous housewife
who doesnt leave her husband alone.
And doesnt let
anyone else near him either.
She comes around
when she wants to be loved.
Gets her fill of love and leaves.
But I cant do as I please.
I grabbed her tail, she bit my hand.
But she does as she wishes.
Thats very important to me.
That she never compromises her freedom.
She has a fighting spirit.
Thats what I like.
She has qualities that people should have.
Their posture feels very feminine to me.
I dont see that elegance in women anymore.
Weve lost that,
but cats carry themselves so well.
Especially in this country,
in a city like this...
its very difficult
to be a woman, to be female.
To express your femininity,
to be defiant with your femininity.
Being female
and if youre a "pretty little thing"
you feel like you have
to account for all of it.
When youre alone for long periods
your animal instincts get sharper.
I really believe that.
Maybe its a quality that
should be developed more in all of us.
As if its better to be so human, so modern.
Theres a power you can feel
within yourself, of a wild creature.
I think everyone needs
to discover that in themselves.
Cats are satisfied with their existence.
And theyre very sure of their character.
But its not enough for us.
We always want more.
That mentality poisons us
and destroys everything.
And maybe in the near
future, in two or three years
we may no longer see cats on these streets.
They all have personalities, like people.
If you look closely, were the same.
Some want affection,
others will tell you all their troubles.
Some are discreet,
wont talk about anything.
Others are ambitious.
And some are pompous...
like a lady
who cant be bothered to say hello.
Cats are exactly the same.
Some wont even look when I call to them.
I believe they share
the same traits as people.
He was a tiny little thing.
He looked down at me from up there.
We wondered
where this beat-up little guy came from.
I brought him down from the roof.
Who knows where he came from.
Being a young male,
he attacked us at first.
A couple of months later,
he started approaching us for food.
Once we could stroke him, he was tamed.
Now hes become a very friendly cat.
It all changed over the last
five years, when these buildings went up.
It used to be all green here.
There were orchards,
and gardens where theyd grow crops.
When these buildings went up,
it all disappeared no nature left.
Oh dear.
Look at them, seven plump kittens!
These kittens...
itll be a shame if they tear this place down.
I dont know what well do.
This will be a major road.
They want to connect these buildings.
Were more worried
about whatll happen to the cats
than what might happen to us.
If this area gets demolished,
and that's likely, they won't have anyone.
At some point, they miss the streets.
They can find some earth out here.
To do their business.
Its harder to do that
in a house with cat litter.
But out here they dig it up.
Oh no, where did he come from?
- An older cat got to him in the backyard.
- Oh sweetie.
- I immediately thought of you.
- What are we going to do with you?
You poor, poor thing.
Is he gone, I wonder. Is he dead?
He must have slammed him against
the ground got attacked by a bigger cat.
Its a fact of nature. It happens.
This one was my first child.
She was special
not only because she was my first
but also because she had great character.
She died of breast cancer.
I would dress her
to keep her from licking her wounds.
I tried very hard
to find a cat like her again...
but I came to realize that it
was futile, that she was one of a kind.
My longing for her...
lets just say if there is afterlife,
I want to meet her again, not my grandmother.
We cook twenty pounds
of chicken every day.
We dont feed them
dried cat food or anything artificial.
My therapist says I try to heal
my own wounds by healing theirs.
By feeding them
and tending to their needs.
My wounds must be so deeply rooted
they still havent healed despite all this.
I guess Ill heal when they heal.
There was a time
I had great difficulty dealing with death.
I accept death as a reality...
but I have difficulty
dealing with the longing.
Thats my problem with death.
Now well go out
to distribute the morning meal.
This is our daily routine,
seven days a week, including Sundays.
Wait honey, wait.
Come, come my girl.
My little darlings.
Come, Ive got your food!
There were sixty
but five died in the last two weeks.
And its always cancer.
We say it happens to people,
but it happens to animals too.
We eat and drink the same -
the same food, the same water.
We've raised a lot of cats.
Some grew old and died,
quite a few got run over.
We learned that something you
love can one day cease to exist.
We adopted a sense of stoicism that way.
We had a cat cemetery in the backyard.
My older brother and I would
bury them with great ceremony.
And because wed see crosses in cowboy movies
like that last scene
in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
we thought they looked impressive.
Were not Christian,
but they look cool in movies
and because we werent
about to engrave tiny gravestones
wed make crosses out of twigs.
Then one day our father saw us
and freaked out over the crosses.
Immediately sent us to Quran school
so that we wouldnt suddenly turn Christian.
We told him not to worry, obviously.
If I hadnt had cats,
I wouldve had a very troubled childhood
because interacting
only with people is not enough
and especially difficult with grown-ups.
I love cats who hang out in
vintage stores, "hmm the smell of paper"
stretching out among old LPs.
Its especially satisfying when Im sketching
she sleeps in the drawer
like a vintage store cat.
I check the drawer once in a while
"OK, shes still asleep"
And I carry on working.
Because drawing is such isolating work,
a sleeping cat can really give you comfort.
Any ungrateful behavior on their
part is really an act of sincerity.
They dont need to apologize.
I guess there are people
who expect that from a cat.
"I gave you all that food
and you wont even sit on my lap."
A relationship where they
expect a return on an investment.
Down the hill in Cihangir, there used
to be a big harbor during the Ottoman era.
Ships from Norway
and elsewhere would come with cargo.
Sailors would keep cats
on board to fend off rats.
As cargo was being unloaded,
cats would get off the boat
thinking that theyd made it to land.
And trek up to the top of the hill.
Later, theyd miss the boat
and begin life here in Cihangir.
Now, there are
countless kinds of cats in this area.
Norwegian cats,
and cats from all over the world.
Theres a lot of variety.
Later, the first Ottoman sewers
were built in this part of the city.
And giant rats would terrorize residents.
Thats why every house had a cat.
To fend off the giant sewer rats.
His name was "Milkman"
when he first showed up.
Hed come around to drink milk and leave.
He was barely a year old.
He hadn't been neutered.
Then he started showing up all beat up.
He got into fights
with other males over the ladies.
He got kicked one time and
showed up with a dislocated leg.
He was bitten by a dog and
showed up with a hole in his butt.
But it never ruins
his mood hes always happy.
A neighbor of mine started
calling him carefree, happy-go-lucky.
So the name Gamsiz carefree stuck.
Our vet Elif down the road
thought Gamsiz was in love with her.
Because at one point we were making
a trip to the vet every two weeks.
Constantly getting in trouble.
Hed have an accident, get hurt,
or develop a fungal infection.
For months,
we visited the vet every two weeks.
Once he spent a whole winter at the vet.
Doesnt that get expensive?
I guess it does.
But we all have running tabs at the vet.
Theres a bunch of us in the neighborhood.
We have an open tab
at pretty much every vet.
We also collect donations
which help with these expenses.
Whatever is in our tip box goes to the cats.
Gamsiz is a bit of a thug.
Hes feisty,
the tough guy of the neighborhood.
But, if you wanted go out at night,
hes the one youd want to go out with.
Hes that guy. Hes fun.
Theres Lain
across the street he really likes her.
Shes told me that he comes
to her window and demands to be let in.
Or hell go up to the front door
if he wants to enter the building.
She says sometimes
he even spends the night.
When he wants sausages, he goes to Filiz.
Everyone offers something different
but there are also the people
that cats choose for themselves.
Gamsiz has a wide range.
Im the main human in his life
others are supporting actors.
Because Im on the first floor,
its easy for cats to come up here.
My place has many visitors
but I try not to let them in
because I have a cat of my own.
Murat doesnt take care of just one cat.
He cares for many
and knows all their characters.
I met Gamsiz at the caf,
he was lying on the couch.
And when I tried to sit down,
he smacked me. Thats how we met.
After that,
I smothered him with love, of course.
They take note of that immediately, you know.
They remember if you made a connection.
As a result, he came up here.
At first I didnt let him in.
But unlike anyone else,
Gamsiz stands sideways.
Like this.
A single paw in the air.
He seems to be knocking like this.
Hes always like that.
Whereas all other cats,
including mine, stand facing forward.
But this guy, whether he comes
up to the front or back window
always has this sideways stance.
He strikes this charming pose.
And with that paw,
he somehow gets your attention.
If you ignore him,
he gets even more persistent.
Especially if youre right
where he wants to come in
he gets really rowdy
and eventually forces you to let him in.
I respect him a lot because of that.
Whats really special
about him is that hes a go-getter.
Once he makes up his mind about something...
lets say hes decided
to come here and eat Geces food
thats his mission for the day.
Theres no stopping him.
Come, Gece!
OK, thats enough. Everybody out.
Ginger is new to the neighborhood.
Weve only recently started seeing him.
But hes really determined
to take over the neighborhood.
Hes fighting over territory.
"My hood."
"I might be new here,
but Im a cat of strength."
"Im a cat of quality."
"Youll see,
Ill gain control of this territory."
Thats his attitude.
Thats what I first admired about cats
the way I admired superheroes
like Spiderman or Superman...
I believed cats had superpowers too.
I never stopped being in awe of them.
Having nine lives,
or being able to land on all four feet
If only we could land on all fours.
We land on two and they snap like twigs.
I had to leave early yesterday.
I was sad I couldnt bring enough food.
I couldnt eat my dinner
with a clear conscience.
Its overwhelming
when I think of them back there.
I have a lot of friends
who know what I do here...
but they dont understand
why I take it upon myself.
They think God will provide for them.
I say "Sure, but Im the middleman."
Besides, its better than
spending my time at the caf.
Even though hes young, he prefers fish.
One of them has an eye infection.
So I have to give him antibiotic drops.
We've picked up a few things
after so many trips to the vet.
I know all of them.
I know this ones mother,
her aunts, all five generations.
I remember all her family members.
The one that just gave birth...
shes this ones little sister.
During winter,
they find shelter under those rocks.
They stay alive with the warmth of the sea.
Other than that, they dont have a home.
Theres one missing here.
The one that just gave birth.
Lets see if shell come when I call.
I had a nervous breakdown in 2002.
Thats when I got more involved with cats.
Doing this cured me.
I was really caught up, I was really lost.
This truly is therapy.
Now Im happy, honestly. Thanks to them.
I wouldnt be otherwise.
No drug was able to save me.
Theyre all waiting for me here.
Their feeding time is near.
I believe I got healthy
again by taking care of them.
Before, I couldnt talk or laugh.
But now...
lets just say,
they make you fall in love again.
Just as you notice the cat,
the cat notices you.
Its very mutual.
I think that mesmerizes
me a little, that its so reciprocal.
Its like a mirror.
Duman Smokey
has been with us for two years.
My guess is that
he was kicked out of some place,
because the first night he showed up
I saw him coming down the street
he was complaining very loudly.
He wont let himself
be a pet like other cats.
He never harasses our customers for food.
In time, I came to realize
that he was different to other cats.
Hes a cat with manners.
No matter how hungry he is,
he wont come in, even if the door is open.
He lets us know
hes hungry by pawing at the window.
Hes a bit of a glutton.
He knows that his favorite food is back here
so he gets excited
every time he sees us here.
He was quite overweight...
nearly 12 pounds when he first showed up.
As our vet also recommended,
we decided to put him on a diet.
We fed him
less and less food or only smoked meats.
We give him some Manchego
or a softer cheese like Emmental.
A little bit of smoked turkey.
He can also be very
picky about the meat he eats.
He used to love roast beef,
but now, he only wants turkey.
Id say hes quite happy.
He does get around a lot, though.
But he never hangs out with other cats.
Hes always alone. Always alone.
There have been times
weve gotten him out of dumpsters, too.
Beneath that aristocratic
appearance, there is still a street kid.
In a way,
street animals are our cultural symbol.
Istanbul and cats...
So many cats roaming the streets of a city.
Theyve become
a distinct trait of Istanbul.
The streets seem empty to me without cats
but it's a strange situation.
Its a total dilemma if you ask me.
The city no longer accommodates them.
But at home,
and I know from my own cats
they forget their cat-ness after a while.
Our concerns for street animals
and our concerns for people
are completely related to one another.
If you ask me, the troubles that
street cats or other street animals face
are not independent
from the troubles that we all face.
It would be easy
to see street cats as a problem
and handle them as a problem.
Whereas if we can learn
to live together again,
maybe well solve our own
problems as we try to solve theirs.
In fact, Im sure that we would
even regain our fading sense of humor
and rekindle
our slowly dying joy for life.
See how he comes to me, isnt it amazing?
I thank God.
Isnt that right, Bombis?
My love! Right, Bombis?
God says, "I test people."
God brings us closer
to him in different ways.
For me, it was these animals.
I guess I was worthy of his love.
A cat meowing at your feet, looking up at you
is life smiling at you.
Those are moments when were lucky
they remind us that were alive.